CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Lawmakers in Nevada have restored more than $301 million in planned cuts to Medicaid originally enacted last summer as the economy made a downward turn during the coronavirus pandemic.
State lawmakers, who were facing a $1.2 billion state budget hole at the time, are now awaiting additional approvals and funding for the restorations, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Wednesday. The restored funds amount to $125 million this fiscal year that ends in June and $176 million in the two-year budget starting July 1.
Lawmakers cut Medicaid reimbursements to medical service providers by 6% in July, triggering a reduction in federal funds for the program. But recent revenue projections show the state can take in about $600 million more than expected over the next years.
“We did some good work here today. So we can all leave and not have the tears I normally have at the end of our budget meetings,” said Democratic Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno, the chair of legislative joint subcommittee on Human Services.
Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak applauded the move, saying the cuts “no longer appear necessary.”
“Restoring provider reimbursement rate cuts will help these small businesses and hospitals that have done so much to keep hard-working Nevadans healthy during this pandemic,” Sisolak said.
More than 800,000 residents rely on the services, he said.
“This is a great day,” Nevada Hospital Association CEO and Chair Bill Welch said. “Hospital and health care workers faced unimaginable circumstances over the last 15 months and Nevada faced an unprecedented state budget crisis as a result of the recent pandemic.”